Sound Baths: Soothing Stress With Sound
Just like meditating, attending a sound bath can lead to reduced stress and deep relaxation.
Sound therapy is achieved with overtone-emitting instruments, such as singing bowls.
Many strategies can help lower stress, from guided imagery to meditation. One of the most pleasurable and easiest is simply taking a bath — a sound bath.
A sound bath is a sound therapy — a meditative event intentionally utilizing sound to invite restorative and therapeutic effects.
But it’s not music like you are used to. The differences are in application, motive, and intention.
And the sounds tend to be more open and drone-like and less structured than traditional music, where arrangement, rhythm, melody, and harmony define the form.
What goes on at a Sound Bath?
The experience starts with each individual seated in a comfortable position or lying down, often with an eye mask and a blanket. After a couple of minutes of active listening and guided focus on the breath, the remainder of the time is filled with different sounds and frequencies introduced in succession.
The sounds used are created by various overtone-emitting instruments, including chimes, tuning forks, gongs, sruti boxes, Himalayan and crystal singing bowls, and voice.
The Sound of Relaxation
Deep rest and relaxation are the goals. Sound can bring a sense of wholeness, balance, and relaxation to the body. The sound of harmonic vibrations created by gongs, singing bowls, and other overtone-emitting instruments stimulates the theta and alpha brain waves associated with deep meditative and peaceful states highly conducive to healing.
The experience of sound meditation or a sound bath can be helpful for anyone who wants to gain the benefits of meditation or access a moment of relaxation. It’s an opportunity to explore what a meditative state is and how it feels. This is why it can be beneficial for both beginners of meditation and also experienced meditators.
Counteracting the Effects of Stress
Aside from just contributing to deep relaxation, sound baths can help to obtain the benefits of meditation and anxiety, which manifest in so many ways, affecting memory, sleep, and digestion. By experiencing a sound bath, you can allow your whole body to reset.
This experience forms an environment in which relaxation can occur both mentally and physically. Sound waves can also slow down the respiratory and heart rate, creating a therapeutic effect on the body and mind. When the body and brain waves are synchronized, balance can be restored and stress released.
The More Sound Bathing the Better
Attending sound baths regularly can deepen the experience and expand the benefits.
Every day when we wake up, a new set of challenges arise, and as we work through them during our lives, we understand what wellness practices bring us the most benefits. Individuals who attend sound baths more regularly report that they notice a difference after a session, so they’re more likely to continue.
When people can open themselves up to an experience that has the potential to reach them on a spiritual, emotional, and physiological level, there’s an opportunity for personal growth and self-healing.
Trying Sound Baths on Your Own
It’s better to participate in a sound bath in person because otherwise, you’re not actually in the physical space, and you are not reacting to the natural analog waves filling up the room.
But if you can’t join or don’t live in a place where you can find a sound bath, recordings are the second-best thing.
Listening to recordings at your house is a great way to improve your meditation practice and slow down and unwind. Nevertheless, there’s nothing like being in the very room as the practitioner and the instruments responding to the group or the individual.
In addition to recordings, you can discover how to make your own sound baths, trying different instruments to discover what suits you best.